As fall rolls in across the Great Plains, the inhabitants of the area get their camo and blaze orange dusted off to get ready for all the various hunting seasons. For me, these fall rituals include a fun hobby I started a few years ago–setting out trail cameras.
Trail cameras are digital cameras that are designed to be left out in the elements in areas where they can take pictures of wildlife. For deer hunters, this is a way to scout the area ahead of the season to see what deer are out there, where they are at, and what time of day they go through certain areas. This information is then used to aid in executing a successful hunt.
For me, although I enjoy deer hunting, just the process of putting out the cameras and the pictures I get has become a source of enjoyment. Through the past few years I’ve captured a lot of super cool images that I’ve saved.
Because a trail camera gives you the fly-on-the-wall perspective, sometimes you can catch really cool moments that you probably wouldn’t see in person.
However, trail cameras aren’t completely hidden. Although they are camouflaged, for inquisitive animals like whitetail deer they sometimes can pick out that something isn’t just a bit of a tree.
But it’s not just deer that I’ve found on these cameras. Any wildlife that happen by the camera can be caught on candid camera.
It’s just fun to see wildlife doing their wildlife things. Which is what makes grazing cattle so important. You see, all these pictures were taken either along our hayfield or one of the pastures. Because grazing cattle allows this land to be profitable, it means that the bits of forest cover, tall grass prairie, and riparian areas can remain the way they are without being modified for other land uses. This also benefits non-game species and native plant life.
So if you’re an avid hunter or simply enjoy viewing wildlife, remember that agriculture and wildlife are not competing interests, but go hand-in-hand. Take the time to get the know the people who raise crops and livestock in the areas you like to hunt. The friendships are great, and maybe you’ll get another spot to hunt!